Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Power of God's Word

by Andrew Wommack


Luke 8:11, "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God."
Read Luke 8:11-15

It is through the reading of the Word and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit that Christ in His fullness is known. What a privilege it is today to have God's Word in our own language. Six hundred years ago there was no English translation of the whole Bible.

Thanks to the efforts of John Wycliffe (1384) and William Tyndale (1523), today we are able to read and understand the writings of the apostles for ourselves. Men gave their lives to bring us God's Word. We should take advantage of this wonderful privilege.

The piece of armor known as the "sword of the Spirit" is the only piece of armor that has the ability to cut, wound, and hurt our enemy, the devil. It's not the Bible lying on your coffee table that makes the enemy flee, but it is the Word of God hidden in your heart, activated by the power of the Holy Spirit, and spoken in an appropriate situation.

It's similar to what is spoken when Jesus said in John 6:63, that "...the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life." The Word by itself doesn't make us free. It is the Word we know and speak that will deliver us (Jn. 8:32).

Why is the Word so effective? It's because it is the WORD of God. It has authority, because it is indeed the WORD of God. God's Word supersedes all authority of the church, of reason, of intellect, and even of Satan himself.

It is the Holy Spirit that wields this Word as it is spoken in faith. Speaking God's Word in faith brings the Holy Spirit into action.

In Luke 4, when Jesus was tempted of the devil for forty days, it was the Word of God, that Jesus used to defeat the enemy in the time of His temptation. Jesus constantly met His temptation by quoting from God's Word as He repeatedly stated the phrase, "It is written." Likewise, the Christian soldier must avail himself of God's Word by placing it in his heart, so that the Holy Spirit may bring it forth at the appropriate time to accomplish a complete and total victory. It's yours!

Visit Andrew's Website.



Learning With Nature

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Child Carefully Holding A Monarch Before Tagging
Monarch Tagging at Ivy Creek Natural Area
In our time of fast-paced, exam-pressured, high-tech culture, where does learning with nature have a place?

When adults are asked to recall a time in their youth when they were happiest, invariably they refer to times spent outdoors and with friends. Our clever screen world keeps us busy and on the go, but does not help us to communicate, feel loved, gain the satisfaction of the quiet mind, and relax.

Time with others in nature does exactly that -- and much, much more!

We need an education that includes learning and understanding how the world is much more than human-centered, and that instills in us a sense of belonging and curiosity about life.

When subject learning takes place outside, it becomes embodied and has greater meaning. Our work aims to bring the subjects outside while building meaningful relationships with the natural world. Real experiences build empathy, a hallmark of a healthy human.  Get ideas for educational topics and ways to make it all fun ... read the entire article.


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The Many Uses of Patchouli - On Sale Now

On Sale through July 6, 2015

The Many Uses of Patchouli

Pogostemon cablin leaf oil (Patchouli) is a member of the mint family but it actually has a cedar-like smell. It grows naturally in Asia.

The aroma of Patchouli:

Patchouli’s scent has made it a popular ingredient in perfumes. In fact, according to Desk Reference to Nature’s Medicine, Patchouli combines so well with other scents that it is used in at least a third of all perfumes and fragrances.(1) It was even used to add scent to an action figure. (2)

Insect Repellent:

The leaf itself is put into clothing to repel insects. Unless you live in Asia, good luck finding a leaf. Instead, use Patchouli Essential Oil. In a study that was looking for non-toxic mosquito repellents, 38 essential oils were used. Lemongrass, clove, and patchouli (when undiluted) were “the most effective and provided 2 h of complete repellency.” (3)

Patchouli & Skin:

According to Eyewitness Handbook: Herbs, Patchouli “is used in aromatherapy to regenerate skin cells and treat acne, eczema, athlete’s foot, and cracked skin.” (4)

Possible Antibacterial Properties:

In a study entitled “Evaluation of the antibacterial activity of patchouli oil” it was concluded that “Molecular docking technology and antimicrobial test in vitro proved that patchouli oil had strong antimicrobial effects. Particularly, pogostone and (-)-patchouli alcohol have potent antimicrobial activity.” (5)

The oil is extracted from the leaves through steam distillation.

Essential Oils Tips:
  • Never apply an essential oil directly to the skin. Always use a carrier oil, such as coconut or almond oil, with topical application.
  • To encourage safe doses with children, dilute the essential oil and use it in an air diffuser. Use small doses and never use around children with respiratory diseases like asthma.
  • Never ingest essential oils without consulting a health-care professional.
References:
1: Desk Reference to Nature’s Medicine by Steven Foster, Rebecca L. Johnson
2: http://www.oafe.net/yo/motustink.php
3: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16041723
4: Eyewitness Handbook: Herbs by Lesley Bremness – First Edition
5: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24250637
 
On Sale through July 6, 2015
 
 
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The Nature In Us Newsletter - 7/1/15

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  The Nature In Us Newsletter - 7/1/15  
  by Donna L. Watkins  

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” – Native American Proverb
  

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Hello Dear Friends!

View Enlarged Image
New Year's Eve on USS Constellation
in Baltimore Harbor, Maryland
Holidays - Let me wish you a grand Fourth of July.  Our country's Independence Day.  Most folks have cookouts, but I didn't grow up with that or even picnics.  I've never been much on historical knowledge but growing up in small town America, we sure had a lot of patriotism flowing on such days.  It seems that was the focus and I don't even remember what else we did on the Fourth.

There were many holidays to fly the flag and have parades to celebrate the lives of those who fought to keep our country's freedom.  Sadly it seems a lot of that has been lost with the sad state of affairs in Washington.

I do remember loving fireworks.  We would drive out to some place, pull off the road and sit in the car and watch them.  That closed the day off and when we got home it was time for bed (at least for me).  Here where we live now they have a lot of fireworks shooting across the huge lake that is within the community.  Fortunately we sit up a bit on a hill and can see the ones that reach high in the sky, so it's nice to open our front door, sit down and enjoy the show.  Maybe we'll have some special dessert also.  I've been wanting to make Baklava for quite some time now.  A holiday would be a great excuse to get it done.

Tidbit - Organic Farming Facts - When you eat organic foods you help the environment because organic farmers don't use chemical fertilizers and pesticides and that's a good idea.

Did You Know?
• There are more than 450 Ladybug species in North America!
• Adult Tree Swallows eat or feed to their young over 300,000 insects during their 45-day nesting period.  No wonder they're called "Swallows."
http://donnawatkins.smugmug.com/Travel/Virginia/Occoquan-Bay-NWR/i-kPwqDfW
• The amount of land in our world that is dedicated to organic farming is larger than all 5 of the North American Great Lakes combined!  That's 118,000 square miles which is 2% of the world's farmland.
• Dr. Matthew Hollist teaches that there are 15-20 times more beneficial nutrients in organic food than non-organic food.

Birds - Identification - Cornell University now has a FREE app to help you identify a bird.  It's called Merlin.  VERY COOL!  It's available for Apple or Android.

Answer 5 simple questions about a bird you're wanting to identify and Merlin will come up with a list of possibles. Merlin offers quick identification help for beginning and intermediate bird watchers to learn about North America’s most common birds!  It draws upon more than 70 million observations from the eBird citizen-science project and customizes your list to the species you are most likely to see at your location and time of year.  Check it out!

I may not have a cell phone or iPad to put it on to use it, but I do have photos that I can't ID now and then.  Merlin has a BETA version online where you can upload a photo to ID it.  I had a bird I couldn't ID a couple of weeks ago, so I put it in and went through the process.  You click on the bill tip, the eye, and the tail.  My bird had nothing to show for a tail since it was facing me.  It wouldn't let me proceed without placing a "dot" on the tail as I had with the bill and eye, so I clicked on the tail shadow of another bird that was to its left, but not showing up.  It actually identified it correctly.  It was an immature stage and that's why I couldn't figure out what it was.  Merlin gets 5 stars from me!  Check this out!

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Bathing Female Cardinal
View More Cardinal Photos
I continue to get such great joy out of seeing all the birds in our habitat reproducing.  We now have new Brown Thrashers, more Finches and Cardinals, Downy Woodpeckers, Great-crested Flycatchers and so much more.  It seems I don't get to the see the babies from the Titmouse parents, nor the White-breasted Nuthatch and Black-capped Chickadee.  But I see adults grabbing food from the feeders at a furious rate this time of year.  What a blessing to my spirit to sit amongst all of this and dwell with the Lord.

Here's a bird we don't see in our habitat.  I like to learn more on birds that God created for other areas of our country or world, such as the .....

White-winged Crossbill - This bird that's in the finch family can eat up to 3,000 conifer seeds each day.  It's a bird that migrates to and from the boreal forests where it produces its young.  Each winter these Crossbills leave the boreal forests for southern Canada and as far south as Virginia, Kentucky, and Kansas.  I'm in central Virginia but have never had one on the property, but then we have mostly hardwoods on our one acre habitat with a front border of pines and cedars.  By its name you can tell its bill is designed to be a tool to retrieve the seeds within an evergreen cone that are tightly hidden inside, such as the spruce tree.  Watch a YouTube video showing you this bird's design for its provision from God.

Spiritual - God is an amazing God!  How detailed He has been on the design of all that He has made.  That includes you and me!  We can easily see any lack of talents that we don't possess and would like to have, but what we need to be focusing on is what we, as an individual uniquely designed by God.  If we're always looking at our weaknesses we are not enjoying the value that God places on us.  Consider Matthew 6:26:  "Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?"

Allow yourself to be who God made you to be.  You will be surprised as you focus on that, how much more you will appreciate who you are.  If God takes care of the birds without them worrying about who they are, how much more will He take care of you .... oh ye, of little faith.  We get wrapped up in thinking we have to fix ourselves and make everything right in our lives, when the birds of the air should be more of our example of trusting and resting in Him for today's directions of provision.

"He will never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5), but you have to tune in to benefit from that.  We may leave God, but He will never leave us.  No matter how bleak the situation, no matter how empty and helpless you feel, God will never leave you!  His promises are true.  His Word is above all!  We can move forward because, He goes before us.  And "if God be for us, who can be against us" (Romans 8:31)?

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Closeup of Blackberry Lily Bloom with Bees or Wasps
View More Blackberry Lily Photos
Garden - We finally have some of my favorite plants blooming.  I love our Blackberry Lilies.  Shortly after moving to Virginia, we visited the nursery farm on an Open House day where the plants are grown for Monticello's property and also for sale at their small nursery beside the Gift Shop at Monticello.  Horticulture was one of Thomas Jefferson's favorite subjects, although he had many.

As a free gift they gave a small Blackberry Lily plant to each visitor.  It was about 2 inches high and I wondered if it would even survive, but it has turned into one of my favorite plants because it spreads slowly and you can use the berries to grow more of them.  This is also a most unusual plant with the way it grows and the expired flower makes a twistie of itself before forming the seed pod:  View my story on The Blackberry Lily.

The pollinators love the plant even though it seems very boring to most other things.  With the state of the pollinators in our world, anything that makes them happy, makes me happy.  View this pollinator article with links to amazing pollinator videos in slow motion ... the hummingbirds are so beautiful.

Tidbit - Singing Dog - My friend, Jerry Passer, sent me a link to Britain's Got Talent with a dog that sings.  It was quite an amazing video clip.  If you like doggies, view this YouTube video of one incredible act of talent

Critters - Squirrels - I've seen our squirrels jump in our small pond and do a backflip to turn around and jump right back out.  Just enough to get them wet.  The first time I saw this I thought the squirrel was going to drown, but quickly realized it was just taking a bath as it flew up a nearby tree to lick itself clean.

What I have never seen in all the times the squirrels have been doing this ... is one that actually swam in the pond.  Last month one of the squirrels jumped in as usual up at the place near the waterfall rocks (a narrower area of the pond) and instead of zipping back out, actually paddled his way to the other side which only took 3-4 strokes.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  Off I go to research and see if what I saw was real.

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Spa Squirrel by the Frog Pond
View More Squirrel Photos
WelcomeWildlife.com answered my question:
"Yes. They're good swimmers -- they "dog paddle" with their front legs and use their tail as a rudder. But, it's a very strenuous activity for them. If they fall into a swimming pool they often can't find their way out and the slippery sides may prevent them from even clinging so they can rest. They eventually drown.  To help a squirrel out, use a pool net to scoop him up (or any other long-handled object he can grab). Keep hold of the pole and step backward. The squirrel will run right up the handle toward you, which may alarm you. But he won't want to have to touch you if he can avoid it and will jump off soon as he's clear of the water. If he's too exhausted to do more than just cling to the pole, then slowly lower it to the ground and step away. He'll scamper off soon as he can muster the energy."

I had another question answered about them gnawing my plastic deck planters.  Well, actually the question asked was about gnawing on trees.  They can gnaw all they want on trees at our place, but it bugs me to have my planters with deep teeth marks.  A few days after installing a new vinyl deck railing, they began chewing on the post caps while sitting on them ... or the top rail.  Not a happy homeowner or wildlife lover with those behaviors, but they don't know any better.

This is what WelcomeWildlife.com said, "Squirrels are "rodents," a word that comes from the Latin rodere, meaning “to gnaw.” And, do they ever! But that's because they have to. Gnawing keeps the front teeth of squirrels and other rodents short and sharp. Thick enamel covers the front surface of the front teeth (incisors), but not the back. Consequently, the back surface wears faster than the front, creating a chisel shape. They gnaw with the incisors by pushing the lower jaw forward and chew with back teeth (molars) by pulling the lower jaw backwards."

They sure are able to open their mouths pretty wide, so I guess it is what it is and there's not going to be any relief.  At least they're not chewing the deck rail any more.  I've seen them do this with metal objects also.  I guess that's why the word, "squirrely."  Oxford Dictionary defines the word as:  "restless, nervous, or unpredictable."  Yeah, that would describe our squirrels.

Sunshine Concentrate Cleaner & Laundry
Frugal and Green - Since we've made quite a lot of trips around the world thanks to Nature's Sunshine's generosity in their awards program, I have a lot of t-shirts and jackets from various trips since they also have gifts in your room when you arrive.  As usual, the items include the trip location and the year.  Since I'm not into shopping for clothes, I wear the ones I have in my closet.  I've not outgrown them since my single days, so I've got a lot of things that are pretty old but look really great.  People ask me about this since they say their clothing fades of color or gets wash-worn and shabby.  I tell them it's the chemical detergents. 

I had a lot of allergies which included chemical ones, so we cleared the house of all toxic household products and began making our cleaning supplies, etc, also using baking soda and white vinegar for most things.  For laundry we used Sunshine Concentrate which was also a base for many of the cleaning things we needed to do.  It's got a huge, long list of uses.  I cleared out 2 long shelves of things and replaced it with this one and a few spray bottles of counter top, windows and bath sprays made with the Sunshine Concentrate.  It's a great fruit and veggie wash or soak also.  We use it for gardening as a fertilizer and especially when we just put a new plant in.

My husband had always had breakouts under his arms and when we dumped the chemical laundry detergent they went away.  And the other great perk was our clothes lasted a long time.  I actually have things I've worn that I've had since the first few years of our marriage (38 years).  I also use cold water which I've since read makes a big difference and I don't let things in the dryer a long time to dry since we're into saving energy and I like the smell of them when I hang them on hangers and put them outside on the wash line on the screened porch.

You can use white vinegar as fabric softener.  I pour it into the container that the washer has for fabric softener.  Turning t-shirts inside out (or anything that has something that will wear off on the outside) so that the inside gets the beating from the washer blades.  So .... Sunshine Concentrate might be something for your household.  It's worked great in our for the last 33 years.  A bottle lasts forever for cleaning and months for laundry soap.  It only takes 2 pumps for a full load.

Travel - How about cooling off in some cooler states?  July is generally a hot month, so if you'd like some virtual travel, here's a few links to cooler places:

Canada - New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia
Canada - Thunder Bay, Ontario
Oregon Coastal Area
Newport, Rhode Island

Donna Riding Horse on 35th Birthday Near Atlanta
Flashback Photo - This photo was taken on September 3, 1985, which was my 35th birthday.  I loved to ride horses and any time we vacationed and saw a horseback riding option, I was on it to find out if these were horses that just stuck their nose in the horse's tail in front of them ... or if they would actually have a tiny bit of mind of their own to tune into the rider's wishes.  I am not a proficient rider, but I'm not into a slow line of follow the leader.

This place was somewhere near Atlanta.  At the time we were living in Montgomery, Alabama so it wasn't very far away.

Until next time ... meditate on these thoughts:

"Let the seeds of His spiritual blessings of healing and provision of all things take root and manifest in the physical realm as you TRUST AND REST in Him.  WRAP YOURSELF IN HIS LOVE so you can simply receive what He desires for you to have.  You are an heir.  Christ died to make you one.  You now have the inheritance of Who He is by who you are in Him."  -- Donna L. Watkins

Need help understanding what meditation is?  Watch the June 2nd broadcast (2nd link on the series) on this series ... or watch the whole series.
 
Donna

P.S. Anything in here that might help somebody you know?   

Here's a link to the online version of this newsletter. Click on it and on the left sidebar there will be an option to share in various ways.

If you simply want to copy and paste the link into an email, here it is:  http://www.thenatureinus.com/2015/07/the-nature-in-us-newsletter-7115.html

 


Posts Since Last Newsletter

Our Loving Father

How Old Are Your Body's Organs That Renew?

Whole Food Supplements Go Beyond Multivitamins

Ten Most Common Pet Toxins

Change Your Thinking About Who You Are

4 Homemade Traps to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

You Have Control Over Your Brain

The Nature In Us Newsletter - 6/15/15 (DLW)

Previous Posts You May Have Missed  

God's Word Has No Limits

Gardening in Drought

The Real Cost of Smoking - $9,000 a Year

9 Powerful Everyday Home Remedies

4 Reasons To Get A Duck

It Gets Messy When You Mess With Things

Simple & Non-Toxic Ways to Use Essential Oils to Freshen and Clean

Breakthrough Discovery For Bats' White-Nose Syndrome

The Scoop on Grain-Free Pet Foods

Butter vs Margarine: The Big Fat Butter Lie

The Nature In Us Newsletter - 6/1/15 (DLW)

Faith as a Seed

15 Everyday Mistakes That Are Sapping Your Energy

Free Plan-a-Garden Online Tool

Will Off Grid Living Become Mainstream?

Getting Your Eyes Off The Circumstances (DLW)

New Bill Aims to Connect Kids with Nature

9 Reasons Gardening Is The Ultimate Mind-Body Workout

Pet Video: Leash Safety Made Easy

Teaching Kids Basics of Gardening is Important

Enduring Hardship

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Copyright and Reprint Information - All photos remain the property of Donna L. Watkins, but may be used with proper credit and link back to the website, TheNatureInUs.com. Articles written by Donna L. Watkins may also be reprinted with proper credit and link back to the website, TheNatureInUs.com

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Our Loving Father

by Andrew Wommack

Luke 11:11 - "If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?"

The most loving Father in the world cannot compare to our heavenly Father and the love He has for us. And yet, many times, we find it easier to believe in the willingness of a father or mother or mate to help us than in the willingness of God to use His power on our behalf.

Relatively few people really doubt God's ability, but rather, it is our doubt of His willingness to use His ability on our behalf that causes most people to do without. Jesus is assuring us that God's love, and His willingness to demonstrate that love, is far greater than we can ever experience in any human relationship.

The Lord didn't just save us out of pity or a sense of obligation as our Creator. He saved us because He loved us (John 3:16). It was the "good pleasure of his will" for us to become adopted sons (Eph.1:5).

We are wanted and accepted by our Father! What a wonderful thing this is! It would have been more than any of us deserve to be forgiven by God. Then to be given certain rights and privileges would have been more than we could have expected. But the Lord went further than that. He has actually accepted us.

The dictionary defines "accept" as "1. to receive gladly; 2. to receive into a place or a group" (New American Heritage Dictionary). The Lord does not just tolerate us; He actually loves us. He even likes us. He rejoices over us with joy (Zeph. 3:17).

Visit Andrew's Website.


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How Old Are Your Body's Organs That Renew?

Believe it or not, your lungs are six weeks old - and your taste buds just ten days!

Many people fret about aging, little realizing that whatever your age in years, some of your body parts are just a few weeks, even days, old. This is because they are constantly renewing themselves.

Here's an article that looks at how old you really are...
 
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Whole Food Supplements Go Beyond Multivitamins

From Natural Society

Across the spectrum of the natural health world, one thing is agreed on by virtually everyone – eating whole foods is better for health than eating processed foods.

Could it be any different with supplements? Most multivitamins are the supplement equivalent of processed foods, being comprised of isolated, refined, processed, and often synthetic nutrients combined in a capsule.

Like processed foods, processed vitamins have been stripped of their wholeness and integrity, which includes synergistic and balancing nutrients, enzymes, and co-factors.

In their refined state, they can act more like drugs in the body. Processed minerals can act like crushed rock, and often very little is digested and assimilated.

Small amounts of nutrients in whole food form are several times more effective than larger doses of isolated nutrients.   

Read the entire article.

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